Halloween Decor DIY-Do you love Harry Potter and Halloween? Then you are going to love how I meshed the two with this fun DIY! It will also give you all the instructions to make many more decor items for you home beyond halloween!
If you missed my first easy halloween craft I shared a few days ago be sure and check it out HERE It may help you get some use of your old books!
Please note this post contains affiliate links.
Halloween Decor DIY-Harry Potter Inspired Sign
When I think about halloween I also think about Harry Potter! For me the two are linked. I use this as an excuse to inject as much Harry Potter decor in my home for one season of the year! My husband is one of those people who just doesn’t get the Harry Potter thing. I know I am still questioning our compatibility over the subject but alas. Here we have been married 9 years and I guess I can’t let his lack of love for all things Harry Potter get in the way of our marriage.
How to Make an Easy Halloween Decor DIY Sign
Lets dive into this cute halloween decor DIY shall we?!
First up let me share the tools and supplies necessary to make this sign.
Supplies Needed to Make this Easy Halloween Decor DIY
- Silhouette cutting machine I use the cameo 3 and highly recomend it for all sign making!
- Oracle 631 Vinyl
- Green Star Transfer Tape
- Weeding Tool ( I use these)
- Vinyl Transfer Tool (or old Credit Card)
- Wood ( This is my go to)
- Framing wood ( This is an inexpensive option but may need some sanding so be warned!)
- If you Need a sander I HIGHLY recommend this one
- Minwax Walnut Stain (for frame)
- Old T-shirt for staining
- Matte Mode Podge
- Matte Black Paint ( I prefer the ace royal brand paint for signs it won’t peel and distresses beautifully make sure you get MATTE other sheens will not work and will peel up)
- White Paint ( I use Swiss Coffee mixed into the matte royal ace brand paint its hands down the best I’ve used!)
- Chop Saw for cutting your frame or you can have it cut at your local hardware store
- Silhouette Software to design your sign (if you want to design your own)
- THIS Exact Grodric’s Hallow Sign design can be found HERE in my Etsy shop. (personal use only)
- Scissors for trimming vinyl excess
- Detailed paint brush for touchups
- Foam roller
Step One To Making The Sign
Now that you know what supplies will be needed its time to start making the sign!
First step is to cut out your vinyl template using your silhouette cutting machine. I have made a sign that is 24 x 16 inches big. You can easily scale your design larger or smaller depending on your needs and size of wood. As I mentioned I get a large sheet of 4×8 feet of wood. I cut this into thirds to easily haul it home but If you don’t have a table saw, you will need to ask that the cutting center in your local hardware store cut the sign the size you need it. You may also find that they have a scrap wood pile that may already have a smaller piece of wood for you to use. What ever you decide the size of your sign should be the first choice you make.
Once you know the size cut your vinyl template accordingly.
Tips for making signs larger than the Sihloutete cutting machine 12 inch width:
You may be wondering how I made a 24 x 16 inch size sign when the silhouette cutting machine can only cut a 12 inch width? I do this by using the knife tool in the cutting machine software. Then, I take the knife tool and slice in the middle of my design all the way from side to side or top to bottom In this case I did it side to side since its a long sign. After these steps I then have two halves. I can easily cut each half out on my machine with the 12 inch width.
Weeding Your Vinyl
Once I have cut the two halves out with my machine, I weed the vinyl. This simply means I use a sharp tool, my preference is a small exacto knife or scalpel like the ones I have linked in the supply list. Using that scalpel I remove all the stencil area of the vinyl leaving only the background areas. This means I remove the words and any special frame or boder element I want to be painted onto my sign.
Once I have taken the design elements out aka “weeded” my template its time to piece them together.
I start by using my scissors to cut off the excess area where the two halves will meet. This is important or your design will not match up. Once I have trimmed them, I then piece them together very carefully. The silhouette machine cuts well enough that this is almost always an exact match.
Applying the Transfer Tape
Once they are laying pieced together I use my green star transfer tape to keep the halves together. I apply the transfer tape to the top of my vinyl (the non sticky side). I will over lap my transfer tape if I need more than one piece to cover the design. By doing so I will have one solid design to easily place onto my wood sign in the next step instead of two pieces.
Once the transfer tape is in place I use my vinyl tool squeegee to really press the transfer tape on. I then pull off the glossy card-stock backing of the vinyl. This often has the words “oracle 631” and a grid pattern printed on it. It should peel right off leaving the vinyl securely attached to the transfer tape.
Once the this step is complete its time to lay it onto your wood sign. I have pre-prepped my wood by painting it the color I desire as the background. In this case black. I prefer to use the Ace Royal matte paint. it works really well and does not peel off during any of the sign making steps which can be tricky with other paint brands.
How to Transfer the Design To Your Sign
Make sure you place your sign design directly in the center of your dry painted wood sign. Once in place you use the same vinyl squeegee tool to really press the vinyl down onto the wood. Pressing over the transfer tape until all bubbles are smoothed out and it is clinging to the wood.
If you have done this step correctly you should now be able to pull off the top layer which is the transfer tape. Go slowly and start at the top and work your way down. If you pull the transfer tape back close to the wood it should come up easier! Some wood textures and paint textures may make this step difficult. Just go slow and you will eventually have the transfer tape removed. This is another reason I use the Ace brand paint. The vinyl clings well to it making this step much simpler.
Once the Vinyl Stencil has Been Applied to Your Wood
Once in place you can now seal your design using matte mod podge. I suggest using a foam roller and applying a thin even layer. Let dry.This step will keep your paint from seeping underneath the edges of your stencil making for a clean and crisp edges to your letters and design. Do not skip this step!
Applying Your Paint
You will see in this video I have used a 2 inch Purdy paint brush to apply the paint. After I did this I really wished I had used my go to method of using a foam roller to apply the paint. It just applies much more evenly. It also makes it a lot easier to pull up the vinyl stencil once the paint has dried due to the texture of the foam roller. So do as I say not as I do and use a 4 inch foam paint roller to apply your paint.
When your paint has dried you can then pull off your vinyl stencil. Using your scalpel from the earlier step makes this much easier. Once the vinyl is all off you will probably still need to touch up little imperfections that is where you detailed paint brushes will come in handy. If you are not able to confidently do some of the touch ups you could always re-cut out a single letter or small area of your design on your machine and r- stencil it in small areas to touch it up. I do this if an entire letter has gotten messed up or I its to precise of a detail for me to fix free hand.
I finished my sign by adding a stained framed border. I just stained 2 furring strips after standing them smooth. I then cut them to fit the two top edges of my sign using my chop saw. Nailed them into place with my ryobi airstrike and then cut the two side pieces to fit exactly and secured them in the same fashion.
If you leave a lip on the back of your frame you can easily hang your signs from the back edge! Or you can display your sign on a metal picture frame like I have here. And thats it you’re done!!
I sure hope you enjoyed this easy Halloween Decor DIY project! I sure enjoyed making this Harry Potter inspired sign and I can’t wait to see you re-create them in your own homes! If you want to save this idea for later be sure to pin the image below! I would greatly appreciate it!